The U.S. military is rolling out the red carpet across the country this week for a top Chinese military official, culminating in a visit to the Capitol – even as five Chinese military officers allegedly involved in higher-profile cyber-attacks and targeted in a U.S. federal indictment remain absolutely free in China.
Gen. Fan Changlong, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, is major a higher-level military delegation that was scheduled to visit military installations in California, tour the USS Ronald Reagan and “observe soldiers” at the Army’s Fort Hood in Texas, Defense Division spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters. Fan, described by the Pentagon as a “visiting guest” of U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, will meet with Carter at the Pentagon Thursday.
Friday Fan is anticipated to join U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno to sign a U.S.-China Army-to-Army Dialogue Mechanism (AADM) at the National Defense University.
But though Fan is touring the U.S., 5 Chinese military officers under indictment by the U.S. Department of Justice stay in China, “fugitives” far from the reach of U.S. authorities. Just more than a year ago, the DOJ took an unprecedented step and unsealed charges against “five Chinese military hackers” for alleged hacking, economic espionage and “other offenses directed at six American victims in the U.S. nuclear energy, metals and solar merchandise industries.”
Five months following the indictment was unsealed, the U.S. officially declared the people “fugitives,” according to court documents.
U.S. officials have accused the Chinese government or military of being behind a string of cyber-attacks targeting the U.S. government, military and private sector in recent years. Most recently China was thought of a prime suspect behind a cyber-attack that targeted the government’s Workplace of Personnel Management.
In that case, revealed last week, the private data of as quite a few as 4 million men and women, potentially including best existing and former cabinet secretaries, is believed to have been stolen. U.S. lawmakers who had been briefed on the hack stated nowadays the investigation into who carried out the attack and why is ongoing.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry dismissed the allegations last week and stated China would “hope the U.S. side would discard suspicions, refrain from producing groundless accusations and show a lot more trust and conduct far more cooperation in this area.”
Fan will also be meeting Carter face-to-face just two weeks right after Carter publicly known as out the Chinese government over its controversial “reclamation” of 2,000 acres of land in the contested South China Sea.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the pace and scope of land reclamation in the South China Sea, the prospect of militarization, as nicely as the prospective for these activities… to improve the risk of miscalculation or conflict among claimant states,” Carter stated in the keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore May possibly 30. “With its actions in the South China Sea, China is out of step with each the international guidelines and norms that underscore the Asia-Pacific’s security architecture, and the regional consensus that favors diplomacy and opposes coercion.”
Mark Cozad, a Senior Defense Policy Analyst and Chinese specialist at the RAND Corporation, told ABC News that whilst U.S. and China’s leading military officials undoubtedly have a great deal to talk about behind closed doors this week, it is doubtful there will be any fruitful outcome on either the hacking allegations — which China routinely flatly denies — or the South China Sea controversy.
“I think it [the pay a visit to] is just about maintaining the lines of communication open,” Cozad mentioned. “The visit says something about the willingness, on the Chinese side, to be involved in these discussions.”